Monday, October 13, 2014

Allergy-Free Halloween Candy Round-Up 2014, Part 1 (Online Sources)

By Kelley Lindberg

(Update 10/21/14: Added TruJoy website.)

It’s time for my annual Allergy-Free Halloween Candy Round-Up!
Edible Gummy Brains from Indie Candy

Parents of food-allergic kids worry more about Halloween than just about any other holiday. Many are tempted to skip trick-or-treating all together, but I think there are many ways to make it a safe and fun activity. So for the next 3 weeks, my blog will focus on how to make Halloween and trick-or-treating a happy holiday for your children. This week, I’ll talk about online sources for allergy-safe candy and FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project. Next week, I’ll write about safe candy I find in local stores. Then on the 27th, I’ll post tips for safe trick-or-treating (and what to do with all that non-safe candy they bring home).

First, though, let’s talk about the Teal Pumpkin Project: FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) is encouraging us to hand out non-food treats this year (or at least make some non-food treats available in addition to candy) to make trick-or-treating more fun for food-allergic kids—as well as kids with diabetes, kids who are fighting obesity, kids with religious dietary restrictions, kids whose parents are sick of paying dentist bills, etc.! You paint a pumpkin teal and put it on your porch, download a free sign from FARE explaining that you have non-food treats available, and then you make kids happy when they come to your door! Super easy, super fun, super awesome! Visit FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project for details. 

More brains! Find this lollipop and more
at the Natural Candy Store
If you decide you want to get some Halloween candy for your kidlets anyway, I’ve been doing some research for you. Most of the candies I’ve been finding locally contain corn syrup and food colorings, if those are your issues, your best bet may be to order your candy online. If that’s the case, you’ll want to order candy this week so that it arrives in plenty of time for Halloween parties and trick-or-treating. Online sources are also great for finding allergy-free chocolate, as well as unusual treats, like allergy-free brain-shaped lollipops, and of course, those non-food treats! That’s why this week I’ll write about some online sources that offer great allergy-free Halloween goodies.

§  Indie Candy:  This site is a great place to go for all-natural candy with no dyes or any of the Top 8 allergens at all! Most of their candy also appears to be corn-free, too. They have a large selection of confections including gorgeous crystal lollipops, chocolate, and gummis, all in fun Halloween shapes, and you can search by your specific allergy needs. You can even get a "lifesize edible gummy brain" (in your choice of alien or human). Too gruesome? Check out their beautiful Candy Apples, too!

Allergy-free licorice can be hard to
find. But these Scottie dogs from
Gimbal's Fine Candies are safe
and adorable!
§  Gimbal’s Fine Candies: They offer jelly beans in 41 flavors, as well as fiery LavaBalls and licorice Scottie Dogs, all free from the Top 8 allergens. While they do contain some corn products, they contain NO high-fructose corn syrup!

§  Natural Candy Store:  Looking for lollipops shaped like brains, bats, or jack-o-lanterns? Found them! This site focuses on natural ingredients, but they also let you search for candy that’s free from all Top 8 allergens. Even better, you can search for candy free from single allergens, like milk or soy. They carry hard candy, Glee gum, Enjoy Life chocolate, organic chocolate syrup, breath mints, and licorice, among others! You can also search by Feingold-safe candy and other special diets.

§  YumEarth.  Formerly called Yummy Earth, but now called YumEarth, this company makes candies (lollipops, drops, gummy bears, gummy worms, and fruit snacks) that are free from the Top 8, and they use natural colorings and flavorings. Some of their candies are also corn-free, kosher parve, and vegan (but not all, so check the list carefully). You can buy them online at and on Amazon. They may also be available at a store near you—check the list of YumEarth retailers to see.

§  TruJoy Sweets.  They offer 3 candies that are corn free as well as free from the Top 8: a chocolate chewy candy, a fruit-flavored chewy candy, and candy canes (remember, Christmas is just around the corner!). They're organic, gluten-free, kosher, and vegan, and they don't use artificial colors or flavors.

§  Peanut Free Planet:  This allergy-friendly grocery site sells a ton of different candy from lots of different manufacturers, including Vermont Nut Free, Enjoy Life Foods, and Amanda’s Own. You’ll find chocolate, jelly beans, and all sorts of allergen-friendly groceries. They also sell KitKats, Mars bars, and Nestle Aero Milk chocolate bars that are made in a Canadian factory, and therefore nut-free (unlike their American versions). They also carry nut-free candy corn from A and J Bakery (but it contains egg whites and soy), as well as Surf Sweets jelly beans and spooky spider gummies, which are organic, natural, gluten-free, and free from the Top 8 allergens.

§  Amanda’s Own Confections:  They offer chocolate in some fun Halloween shapes, as well as jelly beans and other candies, all dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, gluten-free, sesame-free, and soy-free (except for the sunflower cups)! The jelly beans contain a corn product, but the chocolate does not. In fact, their chocolate ingredients are simply cane sugar, unsweetened chocolate, and cocoa butter. (They also have turkey and scarecrow chocolate lollipops, as well as chocolate acorns and leaves, if you’re thinking ahead to Thanksgiving.)

§  Divvies:  Nut-free, dairy-free, and egg-free chocolate ghosts, chocolate bats, jelly beans, gummy stars, and chocolate chips! (Chocolate contains soya lecithin.) Check out their chocolate dinosaur, too. It might not be Halloweenish, but it would be great for a birthday party or stocking stuffer. And new this year is their gourmet popcorn in 3 flavors.

§  Vermont Nut Free:  Their chocolates are peanut-free and nut-free, but they do have milk and egg warnings on them. Their huge selection of nut-free chocolates includes caramel- and marshmallow-filled pumpkins, chocolate-covered marshmallows on a stick, pretzel caramel bark, and foil-wrapped chocolate shapes (like bats, witches, and ghosts). They also sell skippers, which are similar to M&Ms, but nut-free, of course.

§  Chocolate Emporium:  Read the ingredients carefully on this website, but they do offer a lot of allergen-friendly goodies. All Halloween items are dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, and certified parve by the Star-K. Call before you order to ensure you get what you need.

Find tons of non-food options at
Oriental Trading Co.
§  Oriental Trading Co.:  Remember, trick-or-treats bags don’t have to be filled with candy. Oriental Trading Company offers a bazillion (I counted them) super-cheap novelty toys, many that you can buy in quantities of 50, 144, or more. I have filled countless pinatas and goodie bags with Oriental Trading novelties over the years, and I love ‘em. If you need non-food novelties in a hurry, you can often find similar (or sometimes identical) items at dollar stores, discount stores, craft stores (like Michael’s), and party stores (like Zurchers).

If you know of a great online source for allergy-free candies, post it in the Comments. And remember, next week I’ll post a list of what I found in local stores and where I found it, so check back next Monday.

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